Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blessings

Tomorrow, Halloween, is the third anniversary of the day my life changed, the day I got nerve damage in my foot.  Although it's been really difficult on a multitude of levels, I have come out of it a better person. 

I have a new empathy for the disabled.  I notice when handicapped parking spaces are not near the front door or when there simply aren't enough  (my kids notice too). 

I have experienced the thing where people are invariably kind and generous when you hobble on a cane, but not so much when you don't.  I wasn't aware people were so kind until I got hurt.  People open doors.  Clerks offer to carry your bags.  People invariably say, "Have a great day," and smile at you.  Now I try to be as kind to everyone as people were to me when I walked with a cane. 

I have developed friendships with elderly people in my neighborhood who come to me to compare experiences at different medical facilities and with various doctors and procedures.  I'm only 44, so it's kind of funny that older people in the neighborhood wave to me and ask how my foot is holding up or come over to find out what ortho guy or neurosurgeon I used.  I have learned to listen better when people want to talk about their medical problems.  It helps when people really listen.

I am very aware of how much my immediate family has given up for me over the last three years.  My husband has done virtually all of the grocery shopping and a good deal of the cleaning and yard work.  Ironically, he hates yard work, and I love it but can't do it.  We've taken a pass on vacations and outings - and the ones we have done have kind of sucked because of me.  The worst thing is I haven't been able to carry my baby since he turned one. 

One blessing that came out of my injury is that I started writing fiction.  I always wanted to write but never trusted that I could do it and never allowed myself to slow down for long enough to try.  I am acutely aware of how lucky I am that life slowed me down.

Another blessing is that I met all of you in the process. 

Even though the worst of it is behind me (Please, God, let the worst of it be behind me), I don't want to forget one thing.  Every step I take is a miracle.  It always was.  I just didn't notice until it was taken away.



BTW, I'm thinking about all of you on the east coast.  I was hoping I would see a lot of posts this morning that everyone was doing well, but I didn't see any at all.  I know it sucks, but I hope you're able to find something good in it.

34 comments:

  1. Tonja, you have a great attitude. Sure you'd rather it hadn't happened, but we are all glad we got to meet you as a result. Keep writing!

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    1. Absolutely, I wish it never happened.

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  2. Yes. Keep writing. Its strange how one traumatic thing can lead to our true purpose in life.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    PS We're hoping to hear from my sister-in-law soon. She lives in Philly and we haven't been able to get through to her...on her cell phone. We're thinking maybe the cell phone tower went down. ***shrugs***

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    1. I hope your sister-in-law is safe.

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  3. Sounds like you have a wonderful support system. Hope it all keeps getting better for you.
    We lost electricity for a few hours but it's all good now.

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    1. Thanks, Susan. Glad you have power now.

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  4. Yeah it's funny how you get annoyed by all those handicapped spots taking up the close spaces near stores but then when my dad lost a foot and we had to park in handicapped spots it's like, "Where are all the handicapped spots?" Don't know what you got til it's gone I guess.

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    1. It's very funny to me that the Walmart near us has probably 25 or 30 spots - and they are always filled. Also funny if you mention to a doctor's office or school that their parking spots aren't exactly near the door, they look at you like it's completely out of their control.

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  5. Tonja, I think it is wonderful that you can look at such a massive change to your style of life and think of all the blessings you got out of it, instead of all the things you miss. And it sounds as if your family fully supports you and has adapted to the change as well.

    My portion of southeaastern PA got lucky. The worst of the storm seems to have gone around us. Places to the north and east of got hammered by winds and are without power. We never lost power and saw almost no wind gusts at all.

    Still pouring rain though, so I am betting lots of my neighbors downhill are having basement issues.

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    1. I'd lay in bed and cry all day if I thought about all the things I still can't do. Not a good example for the kids. :/

      Glad you weren't affected too badly. It's snowing here. When I told my little boy, he announced it was Christmas.

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  6. Tonja you are such a nice person. I'm sorry you had to go through this. I hope your foot gets better!

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  7. We got snow here, too, but today it's melted.
    I'm so glad you are feeling better and I hope the worst is behind you, too. Stay well, and have a great Halloween.
    (((Hugs)))

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    1. Thanks. I still had snow on my car at 11:30, but the streets weren't slippery or anything.

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  8. Mobility is precious. Hindsight is sometimes needed for us to appreciate what occurs in our everyday life. Sounds like you've got great family support.

    Going to the care home where my MIL is reminds me of what can happen when you lose your mobility. I had one foot operation when my oldest daughter was 18 mos. I'm fine now and walk nearly everyday for health, but I remember when some people didn't hold doors and I was on crutches or was using a cane-6 wks. It only takes a few seconds to hold a door for someone else.

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    1. I can't believe people wouldn't help you with the door - that's ridiculous.

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  9. Good way to look at it. I wrote the first hundred pages of my last novel after surgery put me on bed rest for a week. Sometimes it takes a lot to slow us down so we can see what we're supposed to see. << me being philosophical. :PP

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    1. I hope I didn't come off as being sappy. :)

      I didn't realize you had surgery - I hope everything is good now.

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  10. I wish that this special treatment for the disabled extended to obese people. I've seen many circumstances where the obese are treated like second-class citizens or even ridiculed. Airlines want to charge them for two seats, people make faces behind their back, or talk about them in horrible ways when they aren't around. It's awful.

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    1. I agree. It's really hard to exercise to even maintain your weight if you're even borderline obese. I have a couple of friends that had bad knees - they ended up getting gastro surgery to lose weight. It was terrible for both of them.

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  11. I'm sorry that you had to go through what you did to get to the place you are now, but everything happens for a reason. I'm glad it has turned out ok for you.

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  12. It is good to hear that your recovery is progressing Tonja! Empathy is a very beautiful thing.

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  13. I'm glad you can look at the positives in this instead of becoming bitter. So many people go the opposition direction in attitude. I'm glad you are writing fiction as well. Although I haven't read your fictional stories, your blogging puts a smile on my face. I also love hearing about your writing projects.

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    1. I don't want to become Lord Vader. That would suck for everyone.

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  14. It's always good to look at the positives that come out of a tragedy, and there are some. :) Happy Halloween!

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    1. I that's the actual circle of life. Good then bad, then double bad, then good.

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  15. Always look for and embrace that silver lining.

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  16. Quite often, health is one of the things we take for granted.
    You have such a positive spirit!! It's admirable and inspiring.

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    1. I think I may have misrepresented myself in this post. I am no saint and typically walk around with a sarcastic look on my face. My husband will back me up on that.

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  17. Learning to be truly thankful for what we take for granted is a blessing, Tonja. I have nerve damage/issues in my hands and arms, and everyday I can do basic things like dress myself, I'm most grateful for.

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  18. My mom went through a similar situation two years ago - she got knocked down by an ocean wave, fractured her knee, and had to use a walker/cane/go to PT for over a year - and you're right, it really does show the kindness of people. It's reassuring and uplifting to see. So glad you're doing better now!

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